The World’s Most Expensive Books

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The World’s Most Expensive Books

Let’s take a look at the pages of the world’s most expensive books!

For an addicted reader it’s no strange thing to leave all your cash at the library when you find some titles that catch your attention. But, there are some exquisite books in the world that would take your breath away.

I always thought that a book is priceless for the knowledge it offers, but there are some examples where the price is surely an item of importance.

5. First Folio, William Shakespeare — $6 million

The World’s most expensive books
The World’s most expensive books

In 1623 Shakespeare and Isaac Jaggard published the First Folio titled: Mr. William Shakespeare Comedies, Histories and Tragedies and it took 18 month to finish it. The volume contained 36 of the author’s plays and each copy was sold for 1 pound. Just 233 of the First Folio editions printed in 1623 are known to have survived.  In 2001, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen purchased a single First Folio original copy for $6,166,000.

4. The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer — $7.5 million

The World’s most expensive books
The World’s most expensive books

One of the copies of The Canterbury Tales 1477 first edition, that was held privately, was originally purchased for £6 by the first Earl Fitzwilliam at the sale of John Radcliffe’s library at Christie’s in 1776. What a lucky guy! Now it costs $7.5 million.

3. Birds of America, James Audubon — $11.5 million

The World’s most expensive books
The World’s most expensive books

Written by naturalist and painter J. Audubon and containing illustrations of a wide variety of birds of the United States, Birds of America was first published as a series in sections between 1827 and 1838, in Edinburgh and London. Now, there are only 119 known complete original copies in the world and one of them was sold in London at Sotheby’s auction for $11.5 million.

2. The Gospels of Henry the Lion, Order of Saint Benedict — $11.7 million

The World’s most expensive books
The World’s most expensive books

Produced under the instructions of Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony,  for the altar of the Virgin Mary at the Brunswick Cathedral, this gospel book is thought to be a 12th century German masterpiece.  The preface contains a poem dedicated to Henry the Lion and his wife and the rest texts from four gospels.  The German government bought it at Sotheby’s auction of London in 1983 for $11.7 million.

1. The Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci — $30.8 million

The World’s most expensive books
The World’s most expensive books

The 72-page notebook is da Vinci’s most famous scientific journal. It is handwritten by the famous painter, scientist, engineer and architect between 1506 and 1510 in Milan and it covers various subjects including da Vinci’s theories on fossils, hydrology, astronomy and much more.  Bill Gates purchased it at the Christie’s auction in New York for $30,800,000 and that’s how it became the world’s most expensive book.

Now tell me you aren’t at least a little curious to know how it feels to read one of these books! If you enjoyed reading this, take a look at our Most Expensive Comic Book Ever Sold article too.

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